After evaluating 20 complaints about brake problems in the 2013 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opted to close its investigation of the model without asking Ford to conduct a recall.
The complaints centered on problems with the front brake hoses in those vehicles. Small cracks were reported in several hoses, creating the possibility that the vehicles would travel further than expected when stopping.
After inspecting the hoses themselves and the manner of installation, NHTSA found no consistent pattern of failure. However, in its final report (PDF), the agency did note that service personnel could've contributed to the problem when conducting maintenance on the vehicles:
"No root cause was determined for the reported Explorer PI jounce hose failures, but Ford identified improper service repair procedures (e.g., hanging the brake caliper from the brake hose during brake pad replacement) as a possible contributor to higher than expected rate of front brake jounce hose leaks."
Based on these findings, NHTSA closed its investigation of the 2013 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor without asking for a recall. If the agency had made such a request, it could've affected more than 13,700 police vehicles in the U.S. -- and depending on the reason for the recall, the investigation might've expanded to include consumer versions of the Explorer as well.